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Art Beat: Sunshine Coast musicians – including MLA – play Nirvana tribute in New York City

Last week, Sunshine Coast musicians Steve Wright, Joe De Leo and Nicholas Simons joined Vancouver’s Pat Haskill and New York’s Rob Sonnenberg in the city that never sleeps.
Sunshine Coast musicians Steve Wright, Joe De Leo, and Nicholas Simons perform in New York with Pat Haskill and Rob Sonnenberg.

Last week, Sunshine Coast musicians Steve Wright, Joe De Leo and Nicholas Simons joined Vancouver’s Pat Haskill and New York’s Rob Sonnenberg in the city that never sleeps. The group performed a sold-out performance of Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York concert. 

The show on Nov. 18 celebrated the 30th anniversary of the original live recording. The musicians played at the Knitting Factory at Baker Falls in the East Village. The now-renovated building was originally the Pyramid Club where Nirvana played its first ever gig in New York.  

The spark for this monumental show was the band’s performance of the same concert at the 101 Brewhouse and Distillery in Gibsons in June 2022. 

Festival Seeks High Performers 

The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Performing Arts plans to continue its long tradition of supporting, growing, and promoting amateur performing artists of all ages and abilities on the Sunshine Coast. The group has announced that its 50th anniversary festival will take place April 9 to April 25, 2024, with a highlights concert on May 11.  

Members of the public are invited to attend the festival’s annual general meeting on Nov. 29 at 10 a.m. via Internet video.   

The festival is also looking for volunteers to fill important roles like adjudicator and onsite hospitality coordinator, awards coordinator, musical discipline coordinator, grant writer and sponsorship coordinator, treasurer and 50th anniversary festival coordinator. 

To learn more, or to attend the AGM, email festival president Sarah Lowis at 

Gallery Invites Artist Hang-Ups 

The Gibsons Public Art Gallery is accepting submissions in any medium (one work per member) for its upcoming Present Tense Members’ Exhibition. Submissions can be dropped off between Nov. 23 and 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to a Present Tense submission for the Main Gallery, members may also submit artwork to the gallery’s Tiny Members’ Exhibition.   

Check out for more information and guidelines. The exhibitions will run from Nov. 30 to Dec 23. 

Music In Excelsis 

The Inspirito Vocal Ensemble has announced its holiday concert (titled “When the Song of the Angels is Stilled”) for Nov. 25 and 26 in Gibsons. The choir, conducted by Sarona Mynhardt and accompanied by Toby Aldren, is very excited to welcome internationally acclaimed flutist Bernard Blary to join them again. 

The program for the concert was inspired by words of philosopher and civil rights leader Howard Thurman: “When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and the princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flocks, the work of Christmas begins. To find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace amongst brothers, to make music in the heart.” 

Both concerts are at 3 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church in Gibsons. For information or tickets ($20), email Sarona at or send a text to 778-888-4957. 

Download a Diamond 

Juno award-winning children’s performer and Sunshine Coast resident Charlotte Diamond has released a free recording for a limited time. Until Dec. 10, her song “We Are Keepers of the All the Stories” is available for readers of her fall newsletter at 

“I wrote it for my dad, who worked in logging camps in Haida Gwaii when he was 16,” said Diamond. She produced a 2004 musical tribute in his honour, and hoped the song would encourage young people to prompt their elders to share their life stories. 

Diamond will perform the song at the upcoming Christmas concerts of the Coastal Lights Choir, which sings under the direction of Kenneth Johnson. The chorale performs on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. (at St. Hilda’s Anglican Church in Sechelt) and Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. (at St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church in Gibsons). Tickets are available at Strait Music in Sechelt.